A rendering shows the exterior of a convenience store that would be renovated on Lake Harbour Drive. Aldermen denied the request on Tuesday.
A rendering shows the exterior of a convenience store that would be renovated on Lake Harbour Drive. Aldermen denied the request on Tuesday.
RIDGELAND — Alderman outright denied two architectural review requests for two gas stations for safety concerns and substandard aesthetics during Tuesday night’s board meeting.

“I am not going to approve this change because I have concerns for the safety of the citizens,” Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Holder said in the middle of the applicant's defense of proposed renovations of the Cappy’s at the intersection of Old Canton Road and Lake Harbour Drive.

Holder introduced a motion to deny parking variances and a site plan and architectural review for proposed renovations of the gas station’s car wash operation into retail space that owners said was intended to be a liquor store. His motion was seconded by Alderman-at-large D.I. Smith. The motion passed 6-0, Ward 6 Alderman Wesley Hamlin was absent.

Alton Clingan presented for the gas station’s owners.

The discussion was about the space between gas pumps and the entryway to the proposed new retail space. Drawings showed 20 feet between the pumps and pedestrian walkways.

Holder described a situation he assumed would be fairly common of an 8-foot wide truck parking three feet from the pump leaving a slim margin of nine feet for potential cars to pass by and gave the above reasoning.

Holder had also led the denial of a site plan and architectural review for the Chevron C-Store located at 405 Lake Harbour, also represented by Clingan. His motion to deny the plans as presented was seconded by Ward 4 Alderman Brian Ramsey, who had vocalized dissatisfaction with the color of some of the materials the night before at the work session. The rejection passed unanimously 6-0.

At the work session, Community Development Director Alan Hart said that a suspect retaining wall on the C-Store property had received a stamp of approval from an engineer hired by the C-Store management. Holder expressed doubt that it would hold up based on his experience as a contractor.

“In addition to any structural doubts it is unsightly and needs to be replaced,” Holder said.

Another alderman brought up concerns about the drainage system.

In addition to his aesthetic concerns, Ramsey admitted to Clingan that this was “a challenging lot.” Clingan said that his bosses had put a lot of work into the design of the C-Store and wanted to see the building redesigned.

“Gentlemen I plead with you. We have done so much to modify this building to your standards and the owners are getting upset,” Clingan said. “I ask that you take that into consideration.”

Ramsey said that he would “send it back” if no changes were made.

Clingan said that he was not sure what else could be done to the building to improve it.

Mayor Gene McGee said that they had given him several criteria.

“I am not sure that you will get this project approved right now, to be frank,” McGee said before moving on to the next agenda item.